US Airways: Use Current Award Chart to Book Oneworld Awards as of March 31

US Airways: Use Current Award Chart for Oneworld Awards as of March 31

 

US Airways will keep its current award chart when it enters the Oneworld Alliance March 31, so you'll be able to book Qantas First Class, Cathay Pacific First Class, and other Oneworld awards with US Air Dividend Miles.

Also, you'll (at least for a short time) still be able to book some awards on partners such as Air China, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM and Turkish Airways with which US Air has bilateral agreements that extend past US Air's March 30 exit from the Star Alliance.

This is pretty amazing, since a lot of folks were expecting transferability of US Airways miles to AA, but having to book all oneworld awards using the AAdvantage partner award chart and rules.

Instead, at least for now, US Airways Dividend Miles and AAdvantage award charts and rules will both survive on March 31 but remain separate. So you'll be able to use the US Airways Dividend Miles award chart to book gems such as Cathay Pacific Business Class roundtrip to North Asia for 90,000 Dividend Miles, or Cathay Pacific First Class to North Asia for 120,000 miles.

Per Australian Business Traveller (emphasis mine):

After US Airways’ entry into oneworld, US Airways will maintain its current award chart” the spokesperson advised, with bookings for Oneworld airlines available through US Airways.”

FAQ

Which Star Alliance Airlines Will I Still Be Able to Book with US Airways Miles as of March 31?

Per the US Airways site:

“We plan to continue relationships with the following airlines, which means you'll be able to earn and redeem miles on these select partners even after we've exited Star Alliance: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, TAP and Turkish Airways.”

Keep in mind that these are partners that US Air has bilateral agreements with that extend past US Air's exit from the Star Alliance.

 

What Happened to Ethiopian and EVA?

They're not included in the current list of airlines on the US Airways site, so for now, assume that Ethiopian and EVA will not be bookable as awards as of March 31. That said, EVA's own announcement says that the partnership will terminate effective May 15, 2014, so we'll have to see if any EVA flights are actually bookable as awards using US Air miles as of March 31.

 

How Long Will It Be Possible to Book These US Air Bilateral Partner Airlines with US Airways Miles?

It will vary by partner, but probably not more than a few weeks to a few months.

 
 
Will It Be Possible to Combine These US Air Bilateral Partners and Oneworld Airlines on a Single Award?
 
No–US Airways only allows mixing and matching of airlines from a given alliance, so presumably only oneworld airlines would be able to be combined on a single award.
 
You would not be able to mix and match US Air's bilateral partners, for example, Air New Zealand and Air China, on a single award, since US Air would no longer be part of the Star Alliance.
 
 
What Are the Downsides of Booking with US Air Dividend Miles?

Several:


Top 6 Awards Using US Air Dividend Miles as of March 31
 

1. Cathay Pacific Business Class to the Maldives for 120,000 Miles via HKG (instead of 170,000 AA miles for 2 separate awards)
 
This award is especially good value, if it's possible to book via US Airways starting March 31. Recall that AAdvantage imposes annoying restrictions on transiting a third region (explained in my post Oneworld Explorer Award Chart and Rules), so booking with AAdvantage miles you'd be forced to book two awards to fly Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong to the Maldives.


2. Cathay Pacific First Class U.S. to Hong Kong for 120,000 Miles (instead of 135,000 AA miles)

I highly recommend splurging on Cathay Pacific first class for an extra 30K miles over business class–it's just a much more personalized and comfortable experience. You'll save 15,000 miles booking this with Dividend miles instead of AAdvantage miles.
 
 
3. Cathay Pacific Business Class U.S. to North Asia for 90,000 Miles (instead of 100K-110K AA miles)

This is perhaps the best known “jewel” in the US Dividend Miles award chart. Note that as with the above 120K first class award, this is for U.S. to North Asia, which includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
 
 
4. Cathay Pacific and Qantas First Class U.S. to Australia for 140,000 Miles via HKG (instead of hard to find nonstop Qantas first class awards from U.S.)
 
This award isn't so much about saving miles (since the AAdvantage award is just 5000 more miles, at 145,000 miles roundtrip) but rather about finding award availability. Recall that due to AAdvantage's annoying restrictions on transiting a third region you can't route to Australia via Asia on one award.
 
There's no such restriction with US Airways Dividend Miles, so the beauty of combining the US Airways award rules and oneworld partners is being able to fly something such as Cathay Pacific first class to Hong Kong, then Qantas first class to Australia. You'll still need quite a bit of date flexibility to book this in first class, but it would be possible if the US award chart is preserved as the spokesperson says, and can be used in combination with Oneworld partners.
 
 
5. Qatar Business Class to South Africa for 110,000 Miles via Doha (instead of 150,000 AA miles)
 
To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed by Qatar Business Class, but it can be challenging to book awards to South Africa in business class, without incurring high fuel surcharges on British Airways, so this provides another good option. Note that this award isn't even possible as a single award using AAdvantage miles due to third region routing restrictions. And as all other awards listed here, we'll have to see how this works in practice, with US Airways agents, come March 31. Be prepared with your airport codes, I wouldn't assume that most US Airways agents have heard of Doha 🙂
 
 
6. Qantas First Class Europe to Australia for 150,000 Miles via Dubai (instead of 160,000 miles)
 
It can be considerably easier to find Qantas first class from Europe to Australia, than from the U.S. You can readily book this award with AAdvantage miles, space available, for 160,000 miles roundtrip, but you'd save 10,000 miles using US Air Dividend Miles.
 
Do you plan to try to take advantage of the US Air current award chart to book Oneworld airline partners as of March 31?
 
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